32 Freedom

Corpse Cathedral.

Lucien sat on a chair in the cathedral, his crimson sword and the thorny chain beside him. He looked utterly pale and weak, leaning completely back on the chair as he heavily breathed in and out, gazing up at the ceiling with hazy eyes.

But as Adam appeared before him, Lucien flashed a big smile at the Angel of Imagination that said anything but weakness.

"I told you victory was in my veins, didn't I?.."

Adam looked at Lucien with limpid eyes. "You are truly an anomaly."

"Anomaly, you say...can't argue with that." Lucien said in between breaths. "But why do you bring that up now?…."

"I foresaw your victory." Adam said serenely, sitting next to him. "But not in the way you achieved it."

"What changed?…" Lucien breathed out, curious.

"You would have defeated Suah, but you won't have enough power to kill him. So, not wanting to waste such a valuable opportunity, the Gods would act and finish the job." Adam disclosed.

"Oh I see…" Lucien took a breath, his hazy eyes slowly becoming clear and bright. "The source of change happened when I achieved the true might of the Conqueror…"

"Yes." Adam spoke gently, his gaze fixated on the cross at the altar. "It is impossible to unleash the true might of authorities from sealed artefacts unless your existence is closely related to the said sealed artefact, which you clearly do not have with the crimson sword."

"I get it…" Lucien said. "But aren't you forgetting something? The Calamity of Destruction and the Eternal Darkness could still have a connection despite my existence…."

"Perhaps." Adam said, his golden eyes gleaming with a sharp light. "Perhaps not. Even I am not so sure anymore. There are still too many mysteries out there in the cosmos to uncover."

"You won't have to wait for long…..as you will soon ascend to become the God Almighty," Lucien foretold. "Then mysteries will become meaningless in front of you.."

"But, Lucien, your very existence contradicts your words." Adam retorted simply.

"I know.." Lucien sighed—a heavy and weary sigh. "If there is one thing I learned from my reincarnation, it is that the cosmos is infinite and limitless. Encompassing all possibilities and impossibilities." He paused. "A fool once said, Death is but the next great adventure…"

"Albus Dumbledore." Adam said immediately.

"So this earth also had Harry Potter, eh?" Lucien raised his brows slowly.

"Our earths are completely similar, until the Apocalypse, if we only consider the material universe." Adam nodded sagely.

"I thought as much." Lucien sat up straight and rested his hand on the armrest, a hiss escaping his lips. "Anyway, back to Albus Dumbledore. Nothing can deny that man was a fool, but sometimes fools are the ones who can see the truth for what it is. I don't think he was entirely wrong when he remarked, 'Death is but the next great adventure'."

"Fool…" Adam whispered under his breath, almost in thought, then he shook his head. "We can continue discussing this afterwards."

"Yeah, let's," Lucien said. "After we become pillars."

Adam hummed thoughtfully, holding the silver cross. Then he grabbed the sword of the conqueror, examining it. "Do you know who this belonged to?" He asked rhetorically.

"Hmm?" Lucien guessed offhandedly. "Sauron?"

"Einhorn." Adam corrected, looking at the tip of the crimson sword. "He was a true conqueror, despite being a woman in the beginning."

"Oh?" Lucien raised his brows in surprise as he almost heard praise in Adam's tone.

"Not everyone can end up accepting the gender transition." Adam elaborated, noting his surprise. "Look at the Demoness Pathway; why do you think it is in its current state?"

"You don't mean…?" Lucien's clear eyes widened. The truth was incredible, but thinking about it, it does explain a lot of twisted things going on and about in the Demoness Pathway.

"Yes." Adam confirmed gently. "Cheek never fully accepted her transition. Her contradictory feelings about her gender affected the Demoness Pathway, allowing only men who transitioned into women to progress further."

"That's fucked up even for a God." Lucien hissed, half in pain and half in incredulity. "She should seriously see a psychiatrist at this point."

Adam smiled, but he didn't seem to want to delve deeper into the struggles of the Primordial Demoness. "But Einhorn was different; he ultimately accepted what he had become. And that led to glory and victory, but alas, he fell in the end."

"Under your story." Lucien added with a twitch of his lips.

"Yes." Adam nodded in pity. "It was a necessary sacrifice."

"Necessary?" Lucien mulled over that bitter word. "I probably shouldn't bring this up, but you know, I greatly value loyalty and dedication."

Adam gestured for him to continue, and so Lucien did.

"Medici, Red Angel, was your..." Lucien corrected himself since Adam was Adam and the Ancient Sun God was the Ancient Sun God—both were the same but distinct in essence. "Your father's most loyal angel, other than Ouroboros—I even think if he asked Medici to put down his life, he wouldn't hesitate to do so—so if I may ask, why did you do this?"

He refrained from phrasing it as a "betrayal," as he knew Adam enough to know that he must have reason to do this, no matter how callous and heartless that may seem.

Adam was silent for a moment, grabbing the silver cross, before saying silently. "After my father's fall, Medici became distraught and devastated. Imagine achieving everything you wanted, only for it all to collapse at the hands of people you considered your sworn brothers. It would do a number on anyone, and Medici was no exception. He was hell-bent on revenge and willing to do anything to achieve it—"

"He got corrupted, didn't he?" Lucien sucked in a breath.

"City of Calamity." Adam said, his gaze somewhere far away. "The only way to save him was Death, so I granted it…"

"What a tragic fate…" Lucien sighed, placing his chin in his palm.

"You needn't feel pity for him. As you know, he is still alive, and he is," Adam paused, gazing at Lucien. "coming for you."

"What?" Lucien stilled in his place for a moment, then understood, his gaze flickering to the crimson sword.

"When you achieved the true might of the Conquerer, your will resonated with every beyonder of the Red Priest Pathway." Adam gave the crimson sword back to Lucien.

Lucien held the sword, looking at it deeply. "Let him come." He breathed out. "I will face him."

Adam said nothing to that, looking ahead at the cross at the altar in silence.

"Anyway, I feel somewhat better now." Lucien stood up from the chair. "I better go and deal with the fallout." He began walking towards the door of the Corpse Cathedral. "What do you think Augustus will be doing now? Will he be pulling out his baboon hair in frustration and rage?" He asked offhandedly, stopping in the foyer.

"Probably," Adam indulged Lucien without turning back to him. "But not for long; you made your move; now it is time for the Gods to make theirs."

"I wonder," Lucien whispered, even though he had a good idea what the Gods planning to do. Then he was gone, plunging into the dreams of the world, leaving behind a whisper.

"What they will do…"


Southern Continent.

The fight between the Numinous Episcopate and Northern Continent militaries has thrown the entire continent into chaos. Even though the battles were limited to the bases, the blows exchanged between angels had an effect on the entire continent, causing mass panic here and there.

But the local governments, who had prepared well enough for this situation, immediately acted to bring back order to the continent, but they didn't forget to take advantage of the chaos to deal with the last remnants of Northern supporters.

As for the military bases, everyone of them was either destroyed or occupied by the Numinous Episcopate. The fighting everywhere began to cease, except in Caesar Bay, where the forces of Rose of the School of Thought were making a desperate last stand after Barcanna fell, but it was ultimately futile since Reinette Tinker personally entered the battlefield to deal with them.

The Queen of Curses kneeled over all the dead bodies of prisoners, and from within them, white roses grew, creating a flower field that filled the entire battlefield.

"Teacher…" Sharron whispered, standing behind her and placing her hands on her shoulders. She didn't escape the war unscathed—scars and bruises filled her—despite becoming a demigod.

Reinette turned to her student, and Sharron froze in shock, for her teacher was smiling, a small and faint smile. "We won, Sharron." She closed her eyes in the embers of serenity. "Suah had been slain."

Sharron immediately embraced her teacher, their figures bathed in the fainting light of the sun.

At the same time, in Kolain, outside the Loen base, Lucien landed, holding the crimson sword and thorny chain. He turned and looked at the restored Berserk Sea. 'How exactly did the God of Knowledge and Wisdom achieve this? What authority did he use?…' he ruminated on the issue until Bernadette and Azik emerged in front of him.

Lucien retrieved the soul projection back into him, "Come on." He said to them. "We can't miss this."

"You have a lot of explaining to do, son." Azik noted as he walked alongside Lucien and Bernadette.

"You will understand everything soon." Lucien merely said while they entered the ruined military base where everything was temporarily gathering.

With his appearance, the hectic ruins fell silent, and everyone bowed to him in respect and reverence, even the injured, who managed to bow their heads despite their pain and suffering.

"Enough." Lucien acknowledged with a faint smile. "Tend to yourself first." And so they did, but still, the hecticness didn't return to the ruins.

Lucien strode forward towards the edge of the ruins with Azik and Bernadette in silence. As they reached it, Sia and Haiter joined them—all of them looking ahead at the group of nervous and tense mid-sequence beyonders. They stood atop the rumble while holding a huge flag in their hands, facing the sea. They looked like they were about to raise it, but his appearance interrupted them.

"Continue…" the Reaper ordered to the mid-sequence beyonders, who froze in their places before nodding enthusiastically and grabbing the pole of the flag tightly.

"Everyone." Lucien declared, capturing the attention of all. "I want to say many things to you in light of what we accomplished, but words can never do justice sometimes, so come on, let's witness the dawn of a new era together."

And so, under the eyes of all, the flag was slowly raised by the beyonders together, its black background with a white rose and strips gleaming brilliantly in the golden rays of sun.

It was the new flag of the Balam Empire.

A sudden flash of light illuminated the beyonders, raising the flag, which was immediately followed by a sharp click.

A picture was taken.

A picture that would go on to be one of the most epochal images known to mankind, one that changed the course of the entire history.

For, at this moment, the era of colonialism was brought to an end.

And the Southern Continent was liberated.

As the flag of the Balam Empire rose and flapped in the winds of the world, every soul on the southern continent could feel something different filling everything around them. It was strangely familiar—something they had yearned for so long, something they were willing to give everything for, and they have finally achieved it.


And bloody tears were shed from the eyes of the world.


A/N : Okay guys…my exams are starting. I may not be able to keep up my daily update schedule anymore but I will try my best, anyway.

And as always, stones will be appreciated; they keep me motivated.

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